Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson chasing this Wilt Chamberlain NBA record

Mitchell Robinson officially leads the NBA in field-goal percentage now that he has made enough shots this season to qualify for the title.

More astounding, the second-year big man appears to have a legitimate shot at surpassing one of the biggest names in league history by setting the all-time record in that category.

After Robinson’s 11-for-16 showing from the field and 23 points in Saturday’s win over Chicago, he stands atop the NBA this season with a 73.2 percent conversion rate from the field.

With 22 games remaining beginning with Monday’s home game against Houston, Robinson has a chance to eclipse the single-season record of 72.7, set by legendary center Wilt Chamberlain for the Lakers in 1972-73.

“For real? I don’t know what to say about that. That’s crazy. Damn. That’s amazing. I didn’t know that,” Robinson said after practice Sunday in Tarrytown.

The 21-year-old admits he doesn’t “really know much” about Chamberlain — who led the league in field-goal percentage 10 times and averaged 30.1 points per game over a 14-year NBA career, including a record 50.4 ppg in 1961-62 for the Philadelphia Warriors. The 72-73 season — in which Chamberlain established the mark for the Lakers — was the final year of his career.

Knicks' Mitchell Robinson; Wilt Chamberlain
Mitchell Robinson; Wilt ChamberlainGetty, AP

“I don’t really watch old-school basketball. I don’t even know why, it’s just not me,” Robinson said. “We don’t even play like that anymore, so what’s the point of watching?”

Still, when Knicks interim coach Mike Miller was asked about Robinson approaching Chamberlain’s mark, he replied, “That’s some kind of company, huh? That’s some high-level company there, for sure.”

Of course, no one is comparing Robinson, a second-round pick of the Knicks in 2018, to Chamberlain, who ranks second in scoring average and seventh in total points scored in NBA history.

Though Robinson and the Knicks have hinted about the center working on his outside shot all season, he’s hoisted just two shots from outside the paint this year.

With his array of acrobatic dunks and put-backs from offensive rebounds, however, Robinson has made 227 shots from the floor through 56 appearances (seven starts). He needs to average 3.3 made shots per game to reach the minimum 300 field goals necessary to qualify for the title.

Still, Miller reiterated Sunday there is no current plan to move Robinson, who is logging 23.0 minutes per game, into the starting lineup ahead of veteran big man Taj Gibson.

“If we collectively as a staff looked at it and felt like he could be more productive starting, we would do that,” Miller said. “But he’s playing so well in this role, and on top of that, using he and Taj kind of as that 1-2 punch, that was pretty good again yesterday.

“So if we get to a point where we need to for whatever reason, then we’ll certainly look at it and consider it and see if we need to do it. Right now, the way he’s playing, I think we keep trying to move that forward.”

In addition to Chamberlain, the only other player in league history to post a single-season field goal percentage of 70 percent or better is Nets center DeAndre Jordan, who accomplished the feat three straight years for the Clippers from 2014-17.

Two Knicks have led the NBA in that category in one season: Ken Sears, who did it in consecutive years in 1958-59 and 1959-60, and Tyson Chandler in 2011-12.

“Great. I didn’t know that. It’s good. I don’t really get a lot of shots up, but when I do they’re most likely going to go in,” Robinson said. “It means a lot. I put in the hard work and it paid off.”

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